Aurum Preparatory Academy’s charter was rejected nearly unanimously by our School Board in December for being unlikely to succeed and failing to present a sound educational or financial plan, among other reasons. On Tuesday, April 11th, the petition will be in front of the Alameda County Board of Education for their consideration. California’s charter school law unfairly and undemocratically overrules the local control of school boards to manage the educational programs of their districts by allowing charter schools to appeal rejections, first to the County and then the State, who can then authorize the placement of the school in Oakland. It is imperative that the County Board of Education hear from Oakland families opposing the opening of this charter school in our community. There are many reasons why Aurum should not be operating in Oakland, but the County Board is limited in what arguments it can consider. We have prepared a draft letter here which you can modify to reflect your concerns and send it to the Alameda County Board members listed below. Please take a minute to send the email by Monday at noon to ensure that the board has adequate time to consider it.
Dear Alameda County Board of Education Members:
I am writing to ask you to reject Aurum Preparatory Academy’s charter petition appeal, and affirm the OUSD Board of Education’s rejection of the proposed charter school. I am [WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF, IE: A TEACHER AT AN OAKLAND SCHOOL NEAR THE PROPOSED AURUM SITE, A PARENT WITH 3 CHILDREN IN OUSD SCHOOLS, ETC.], and I urge you to vote to confirm the OUSD’s decision to reject the Aurum petition for the following reasons:
- The appeal represents a “material revision” from the petition presented to OUSD, and rejected in December 2016. The change of the school’s opening date from 2017 to 2018 invalidates the signatures of parents “meaningfully interested” in enrolling their child for the fall 2017 opening and requires Aurum to go back to the OUSD school board for approval or rejection before the county board is permitted to accept the appeal.
- The OUSD Board made the right decision when it rejected the Aurum petition, as the Aurum school leadership lacks the experience necessary to successfully implement the school plan; the Aurum petition fails to establish a sound education plan; and the petition lacks all the required elements, including concerns about financial stability and cash flow to sustain the program.
The East Oakland public school community has recently experienced the direct destabilization associated with the failure of the Castlemont Primary Academy charter school at the very site where Aurum proposes to locate. East Oakland kids need stability, not further instability. For all of these reasons, I urge you to reject the appeal of Aurum.